Friday Favorites #3: Deeanne Gist

Friday Favorites is a weekly meme hosted here, that spotlights a favorite author, book, series, publisher, cover, blog, etc. Basically whatever bookish thing that you love, recommend, and want to tell others about. Just pick one and link up to my post each Friday to share. You can use the graphic I used above, the other one here, or your own.

In case you haven't noticed, I've been in a little bit of a historical fiction mood lately. I recently read and reviewed It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist, spotlighted Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson for my Waiting on Wednesday post, and last week's Friday Favorites was about Edenbrooke, also by Julianne Donaldson. So, since I seem to be in this mood and sticking with the same authors, I thought: Why not do the same here since I'm already thinking about it? So, I picked for today's favorite... (drum roll)... Deeanne Gist.

I just couldn't pass up using this picture from her Facebook page, in case you never go and look. Love it! I bet she had a ton of fun getting all dressed up and posing for this.

Let me tell you a little bit about her books. I can't remember exactly when I first picked up one of them. I think it was browsing books at the library or on Amazon. The first book I read of hers was A Bride in the Bargain. There were some very humorous parts that made me laugh and some definite romantic scenes that I loved. At the time my husband was attending law school at night and working full-time during the day, so I needed some humor and romance in my life. :) Her books were great escapes for me at night after the kids were down for bed.

Some have said that her scenes can be a little racy, especially for Christian Fiction. For me, I felt that most were fairly realistic and these are adult books, so there is some mature content, but she still keeps them clean. In The Measure of a Lady Gist is fairly open about the environment of a mining town with saloons and show girls. Everything isn't perfect. She allows the gritty side to come through and not all the characters make the same decisions or the right ones at first or later.

She definitely has a flare for drama sometimes too. Deep in the Heart of Trouble and Love on the Line have some excellent examples. I think one reason I enjoy her books so much is that she does well giving them a good balance. There isn't just humor and romance, but also suspense, struggles, and some sadness too. Many of her characters are struggling with one thing or another and have been hurt in some way. They must work through things, learn, and sometimes accept help from a friend or romantic interest. I also like that her books aren't preachy, but seem just how characters would act at the during the time period when most homes had a Bible on their shelves and said their daily prayers. There is usually only a few references here and there. I do have to admit that the main reasons I love her books so much is because they are so well researched, they have great humor and romance, the characters are so well done, and the plots are interesting and sometimes unexpected. Just a great read all around. :)

She also co-wrote Beguiled, which has a little bit of a different style of writing than her usual and is a contemporary read. I would say my favorites of hers would be A Bride in the Bargain, Maid to MatchLove on the Line, and her newest book, It Happened at the Fair, which was fabulous!

Gist is an author I will continue to read and pre-order. If you enjoy reading historical romance, Christian or not, then I would highly recommend picking up one of her books!

About the author (from her website):
After a short career in elementary education, Deeanne Gist retired to raise her four children. Over the course of the next fifteen years, she ran a home accessory and antique business, became a member of the press, wrote freelance journalism for national publications such as People, Parents, Parenting, Family Fun, Houston Chronicle and Orlando Sentinel, and acted as CFO for her husband’s small engineering firm--all from the comforts of home.
Squeezed betwixt-and-between all this, she read romance novels by the truckload and even wrote a couple of her own. While those unpublished manuscripts rested on the shelf, she founded a publishing corporation for the purpose of developing, producing and marketing products that would reinforce family values, teach children responsibility and provide character building activities.
After a few short months of running her publishing company, Gist quickly discovered being a "corporate executive" was not where her gifts and talents lie. In answer to Gist’s fervent prayers, God sent a mainstream publisher to her door who licensed her parenting I Did It!® product line and committed to publish the next generation of her system, thus freeing Gist to return to her writing.
Eight months later, she sold A Bride Most Begrudging to Bethany House Publishers. Since that debut, her very original, very fun novels have rocketed up the bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere. Add to this two consecutive Christy Awards, four RITA nominations, rave reviews, and a growing loyal fan base, and you’ve got one recipe for success.
Gist lives in Texas with her husband of twenty-eight years and their border collie. They have four grown children.

You can find Deeanne here:

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